Monday, September 6, 2010

Sunday results: More G1 blacktype, but no wins

After a 3-for-5 day from my 2010 juvenile sales picks on Saturday (and 5-for-6 in the money) -- plus Grade 1 blacktype in the form of Darley Debutante show-finisher Rigoletta -- I was perhaps a bit overconfident headed into Sunday's action.

But not without some justification.

On the Sabbath, my Class of 2010 had a 2/1 favorite among maidens at Woodbine, a pair of maidens in the same race at Calder, a maiden at Hoosier running back at the same level where she'd been third beaten only a length her last out, and not one, but two more juvenile fillies with Grade 1 aspirations in the Spinaway at Saratoga.

And I sort of feel badly in complaining that nobody came home a winner, considering all the recent success. But it was a bit of a disappointment.

Big news of the day was that Alienation (Rock Hard Ten-Alienated, by Gone West) again showed blistering speed in the Spinaway, and the guts to hang on and get a major piece of the action. The Natalie Baffert-owned, Bob Baffert-trained filly who broke maiden on turf at Hollywood has since been the runner-up in a pair of graded races at the Spa, first in the Adirondack S.-G2, and on Sunday in the meeting's G1 finale for fledgling fillies.

Despite stumbling at the break, Alienation was second at the quarter-mile in 21.19 (Sky Hosoya the leader) and Baffert's filly and jock Channing Hill were on the lead by a half run in 44.74. She hit the three-quarters mark (1:11.10) still in front by a length and a half, but was no match for eventual four-length winner R Heat Lightning under Garrett Gomez.

Alienation banked $50,000 for the Bafferts, nearly as much as the filly's purchase price at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. April auction of 2-year-olds in training, where she went for $60,000. With a win and two graded-stakes placings in three efforts, she has earned $104,000.

And I still think she's a better grass (or potentially synth) horse.

I recommended Alienation as Hip 719 at OBSAPR, swayed by more than just her 21-flat quarter -- speed that has manifested itself time and again at the racetrack, which some breeze-show burners can't manage. I was impressed that her dam was a minor stakes winner with multiple blacktype siblings, and Alienation's second dam was a half-sister to G1 winners JUDGE ANGELUCCI, WAR and PEACE.

"If this filly earns any blacktype of her own ... this ($60,000) price looks very reasonable down the road," I wrote after the sale. "In fact, it already does."

Clearly nothing has changed, except for the better.

Also in the Spinaway Sunday was Saratoga G3-placed sales-pick Stopspendingmaria. She finished sixth after being second at the half, and has now earned $59,167 from four starts. The Montbrook filly was a $90,000 OBSFEB purchase and runs for Todd Pletcher in the colors of Repole Stable.

"My" maidens did have a near-miss at Calder, where Sweet Lizzie was beaten less than a length at the maiden $25K level in her second lifetime start, five lengths clear of third place. Finishing fifth in the same race, in her second start, was My Reward, another sales tip.

Triple Great was fourth at Hoosier for MCL $15K after placing third beaten only a length at the same level prior. And, disappointing most of all by missing the board as an even-money favorite, Banshee Indian was fourth for MCL $32K (U.S.) at Woodbine, unable to finish the job at a mile-seventy on synthetic despite setting very easy fractions, including three-quarters in 1:14.19. ... That suggests a filly who either flat-out can't get a mile (and with a sire who was a G3 winner at 8.5f and second dam who was also a stakes winner at a mile and a sixteenth, that's unlikely) or who, despite brisk 4f and 5f works, just wasn't fit either physically or mentally to go the distance.

With some foreign results yet to be finalized from the weekend, the 187 horses from my sales Class of 2010 have now sent 70 of their number to post (37.4 percent), with 24 breaking maiden (12.8 percent of all tips, 38.6 percent of starters). The group has won 29 of 161 starts, a flat 18 percent, and with 26 places and 15 show finishes, the in-the-money rate is 43.5 percent. Total earnings have reached $934,872, or $5,807 per start.

The class takes two cracks at maiden-breaker No. 25 in maiden special weight races on Labor Day at Ellis Park. Hello Gypsy (Quiet American-Bangled, by Alysheba), a $24,000 RNA at OBSAPR, is scheduled to debut going a mile on grass in Race 5, while $40,00 OBSFEB purchase Holy Kuga (Orientate-Ed's Holy Cow, by Bet Big) will go six furlongs on the main track in Race 7, her second lifetime start.

Click here and scroll down to follow the progress of my Class of 2010.

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